Friday 1 August 2014

#CBR6 Book 81: "Greywalker" by Kat Richardson

Page count: 368 pages
Rating: 3 stars

After private investigator Harper Blaine wakes up in the hospital after apparently being legally dead for two minutes, she thinks she must be having hallucinations. Her world seems to get blurry, with grey mist, strange creatures and scary monsters more and more frequently. She is told to consult a university professor and his wife, who tell her that she's a Greywalker now. There is a nebulous dimension close to ours, between the human world and the after life, and those like Harper, who have been near death but returned, can access it.

Harper is really none too happy about her new powers and just wants things to go back to normal. She takes on a case to locate a missing college kid, as well as promising to track down a missing heirloom for a mysterious foreigner. As she keeps investigating her new cases, it becomes more and more obvious that she's going to need to control her entrances and exits to the Grey if she wants to survive to get paid.

This was July's main selection in the Vaginal Fantasy book club, and as I'm always fond of a good new paranormal series to sink my teeth into, I figured this was a good opportunity to try one of Kat Richardson's books. Unlike Spider's Bite, which I only barely felt I could rate 2 stars, I found a lot of potential in this book. I liked the sort of film noir feel to the book, with Harper being a P.I and doggedly insisting on endangering herself with solving cases, even after nearly dying. I liked that she doesn't just immediately take the news of the supernatural world and her new abilities in her stride, happily and almost instantly adjusting to the new status quo, which seems to be the case with some protagonists.

Unlike most of the Vaginal Fantasy picks, this book isn't very focused on romance or smexy times at all. There is some romance, but Harper is unattached at the end of the book and no obvious candidate for her long term affections appears to show up over the course of the book. There are some interesting supporting characters and I liked that she has a ferret (even though in my real life experience, they are smelly, badly behaved little beasts with very sharp teeth). That's the sort of detail that adds to the world building.

I wish the Grey had been explored and explained more in the book, but as we are getting everything from Harper's POV, and the people who are trying to teach her how to control her new powers can't directly access the Grey, I suppose it's not surprising that we can't get a massive info dump. I liked the various supernatural creatures, although it was painfully obvious to me what had happened to the college kid Harper is hired to track down long before she picks up on his trail. Although I'm not sure Richardson intended it to be some sort of great surprise either.

While there were bits of the book that got a bit confusing and vague, and I thought the final confrontation was a bit confusing, I think this series has promise, and with Kim Harrison's The Hollows series concluding in September, I am in need of new paranormal fantasy to entertain me. I will absolutely be reading more of these.

Crossposted on Cannonball Read.

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